Dark Summoner, Variant (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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This build may more be a nice themed build involving more powerful summons and empowering/enhancing summons. There are also features to raise/command undead involved in this. This would make a nice build as reference for a villain too for DMs trying to come up with a solid villain.


Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Unearthed Arcana, Libris Mortis, Book of Vile Darkness, Summons Domain, Will to Move Feat, Tulani Bloodline.

Game Rule Components[edit]

The prestige classes and Feats to acquire Prestige classes all come from the supplemental books.

Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...[edit]

The following below details the means of how all 3 prestige classes stack together for development. Alignment: Chaotic Evil Base Save Bonus: Will +5. Skills: Concentration 5 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks, knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks. Feats: Augment Summoning, Spell Focus (conjuration), Skill Focus(Knowledge [Religion]), Evil Brand, Sacrificial Mastery, Malign Spell Focus. Spells: Must be able to cast protection from good as a divine spell, and Command Undead and Vampiric Touch as arcane spells, along with six arcane spells of the Conjuration school, one of which must be at least 3rd level. Special: Must be able to rebuke undead. Special: Must have spent three or more days locked in a tomb with animate undead. This contact may be peaceful or violent. A character who is slain by the undead and later raised still meets the requirement, although the resulting level loss may delay compliance with other prerequisites.


None. Any items that helps to compensate strength and dexterity will help. Anything that boosts charisma will also be very handy due to the ability to charm a demon (detailed below)


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): If allowed: Str 7, Dex 7, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 18. Otherwise need the Wis at least 13 and Int at least 14 to pull this off.

Race (Templates): Human

Starting Racial Traits: Tulani Bloodline (Major)

Just a note: The mechanics mentioned in the () is the details of what the Feat/Class feature/Bloodline does or what source. Whichever applies.

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Cleric 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Evil Brand (+2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks made against evil creatures), Will to Move (Will Save Bonus as Reflex Save Bonus) Rebuke Undead (3 + Cha Mod / Day - attempt to Rebuke/Command Undead) Alignment: Chaotic Evil. Max out the 5 class skills mentioned in Skills up above. Remain doing so until Cleric 5. Charm and Summoning Domains to get Augment Summoning (+4 to summoned Str and Con) and an ability to temporarily boost Charisma by +4 for free. +2 Diplomacy (bloodline)
2nd Cleric 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Otherworldly (Type: Outsider [Native], Darkvision 60', +2 Diplomacy) (Bloodline)
3rd Cleric 3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Extra Turning (+4 to Rebuke Undead) Charisma +1 (Bloodline)
4th Cleric 4 +3 +3 +1 +3 Magic Feat (Skill focus [knowledge {Religion}]) (+3 bonus to skill) from Bloodline, +1 Wisdom
5th Cleric 5 +3 +4 +1 +4 Fey Affinity +2 (+2 bonus on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, Perform, and Sense Motive checks made to interact with the eladrin and other fey creatures)
6th Cleric 5, Wizard 1 +3 +4 +1 +6 Malign Spell Focus (+2 DC [Evil] Spells) Summon Familiar (Gain Familiar), Scribe Scroll (Scribe scroll spells into Spellbook) You should be free to choose whatever for class skills by this point. Magic Feat (Spell Focus [Conjuration]) from Bloodline. Specialize in Conjuration, Prohibit transmutation and one other class. BUT NOT NECROMANCY! This is important. Pick Summon Monster I and 3 other Conjuration spells. SR 5 + Level (Bloodline)
7th Cleric 5, Wizard 2 +4 +4 +1 +7 +2 Spellcraft (Bloodline)
8th Cleric 5, Wizard 3 +4 +5 +2 +7 +1 Wis, Pick up Command Undead and Summon Monster II Spells, Magic Feat (Spell Penetration [+2 to SR checks]) from bloodline.
9th Cleric 5, Wizard 4 +5 +5 +2 +8 Sacrificial Mastery (+4 to Sacrifice Checks) +1 Intelligence (Bloodline)
10th Cleric 5, Wizard 5 +5 +5 +2 +8 Bonus Feat (Empower Turning [Rebuke gains 1.5 multiplier]) Pick up summon Monster III and Vampiric Touch Spells. SR 10 + level
11th Cleric 5, Wizard 5, Demonologist 1 +5 +5 +2 +10 Charm Demon (1/day - Bypass CR when Charming Demon, like charm person. DC 11 + Cha Mod) 1/day - bane, demonflesh, doom, protection from evil, protection from good, spores of the vrock, summon monster I, unnerving gaze. Addtional +2 to Fey Affinity
12th Cleric 5, Wizard 5, Demonologist 2 +6/+1 +5 +2 +11 Spell Mastery (Summon Monster II and III) (Prepare spell w/o spellbook) Quasit Familiar (Familiar replaced with Quasit, no penalties, former familiar eaten) 1/day - bestow curse, dance of ruin, demoncall, magic circle against evil, magic circle against good, protection from elements, stunning screech, summon monster II. DR 5/Cold Iron (bloodline). +1 Charisma
13th Cleric 5, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3 +6/+1 +6 +3 +11 Summon Mastery +2 (Treat Summon Monster as 2 versions higher when summoning CE creatures) 1 additional use /day of Demonologist 1 Spells. 1/day - abyssal might, call dretch horde, corrupt summons, demon wings, dread word, dimensional anchor, lesser planar binding, summon monster III. +2 Use magic device (Bloodline)
14th Cleric 5, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Pale Master 1 +6/+1 +6 +3 +13 Magic Feat (Greater Spell Penetration, bloodline)
15th Cleric 5 , Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Pale Master 2 +7/+2 +6 +3 +14 Extra Turning (+4 Rebuke Undead) Animate Dead (1/day Animate Dead Spell with Eschew Materials applied free. HD of highest Arcane Spellcasting class counts) +1 level to Wizard spell set, Dex +1 (Bloodline)
16th Cleric 5, Pale Master 2, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Master of Shroud 1 +7/+2 +6 +3 +16 Extra Rebuking (As Feat), Rebuke Undead (Stack Master of Shroud Levels with Cleric Levels for Rebuke Undead) +1 Charisma, SR 15 + Level (Bloodline)
17th Cleric 5, Pale Master 2, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Master of Shroud 2 +8/+3 +6 +3 +16 Summon Undead (Shadow) (3 + Cha mod, Summon a Shadow as Summon Monster Spell, duration as spell or Cha Mod, whichever's better) +1 level to Cleric's spell set, additional +2 Fey Affinity
18th Cleric 5, Pale Master 2, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Master of Shroud 3 +9/+4 +7 +3 +16 Quicken Turning (Free action to rebuke/control undead) Extra Turning +1 level to Cleric's spell set, DR 10/Cold Iron (Bloodline)
19th Cleric 5, Pale Master 2, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Master of Shroud 4 +10/+5 +7 +3 +16 Summon Undead (Wraith) (Summon 1 Wraith or 2 Shadows, similar to '(Shadow)' above) +1 level to Cleric's spell set, +2 Sense Motive (Bloodline)
20th Cleric 5, Pale Master 2, Wizard 5, Demonologist 3, Master of Shroud 5 +10/+5 +7 +3 +16 Improved Summoning +1 level to Cleric's spell set, SR 20 + Level (Bloodline)

Other Components[edit]


Rebuking/Commanding Undead Attempts more times/day then probably needed (19 + cha modifier if calculated right, temp +2 to that with charm domain granted power). Charm domain adds a temporary 2 rebuke attempts for a minute (which could be for a full round when coupled with Quicken Turning). Charming demons does not incur the SR of a demon, making charming a demon easier. Finally any/all Summoning spells/class feature of same class with an evil basis to it gets boosted to a summons 2 stages higher (EG: Summon Monster II would get bumped to Summon Monster IV), a +2 in hitting and damaging, and a +2 to Strength and Constitution makes for surprising summons against foes. Some boosts for spells in general as well. As to Wizard/Cleric/Demonologist spell set. Looking at 6/9/3 respectively for caster level.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

Cut out Demonologist, Pale Master, and Wizard if you want to go full on undead themed class with Cleric/Master of Shroud. Anything that boosts/compensates for BAB, Saves, and/or Strength will help.

Side Notes[edit]



This build is very reliant on summoning/commanding creatures (Primarily undead). Which makes it somewhat difficult to use if not able to summon/command. If the intelligence or wisdom scores do not match, it will slow down getting the feats needed for the prestige classes. The build doesn't amount to anything overly powerful for the individual, in specific the physical aspects are weak at best, a flaw at worst. BAB is low overall, the saves are okay-ish.

DM Counters[edit]

The first trick which works is to not allow the ability score mentioned from the start. That pretty much ends the build. Another one which works for a small part of the character's span of use is to simply cause some event where this character loses their spellbook. That renders some spellcasting useless. A strong good cleric can easily kill off the undead servants under the control of the Dark Summoner, rendering a key feature ineffective. An antimagic field also renders the build basically ineffective. With low-ish HP, a few good hits would take the character down. Also a character specializing in crowd control would do wonders. This character is a total BANE of Paladins. This character would have a bullseye on his/her head as far as that goes. Cold Iron has strong effects.

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